Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dale

My cabin is perched on top of a mountain and hangs high above the small hamlet of Dale. Its many windows look out across to dark mountain ranges whose silhouette is softened by smudges of damp clouds.  To the left is a glimpse of a majestic fiord with crashing waterfalls and out of the kitchen windows on my right is a dark Norwegian wood. It has rained continually since my arrival and I suspect that it is more a companion to the terrain rather than a passing weather pattern.

Inside though, it is warm and golden. The walls floors and furniture are constructed from a honey coloured wood that glows and there are 8 radiators and a log fire that I have turned on all day. Iā€™m toasty.

The studio is a grand space of possibility. High, wide, open and empty, with a floor that bears the scares and stains of all the artists who have come before me. It has an entire wall of windows 5 meters high and lighting enough to illuminate the MCG. I have arrived here with nothing but the belief that something will happen, so on the first afternoon I contemplated the scribble of a leafless tree outside my window and then watched the slow twilight settle. It was 2:30 and the sun was gone but above the torn edge of the spruce tree line the sky stayed electric blue for hours. It dimmed so gradually that my eyes adjusted to each increment of darkness and when the sky was truly black I walked back home with perfect night vision.

I awoke this morning at 7:00 to a nighttime that had yet to recede.  With nothing to do and no where to be, I made my coffee, sat on the couch, turned off all the lights and waited for the dawn to bring the landscape back into focus. The rain helped wash the ink out of the night but an hour or so later the sky remains shadowy grey. The slowness of sky watching and the gentleness of studying clouds may be enough action for today.

 

This place feels very foreign to my life

but very familiar to my art.

 

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